Being Number One

More B.S.

"Hello, Paramount Pictures? My name is Alex Nahigian, and I've got a story for you that you won't believe..."

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Spring training 1980. Absent: living legends Larry Brown and Mike Stenhouse (lost to the pros), last year's star pitcher Tim Clifford and assorted other luminaries. Present: a freshman shortstop, three freshman pitchers, a freshman right fielder, a designated hitter, a spotty pitching staff, new uniforms. Outlook: "There's really no way I can tell because we haven't been outside, but we'll go as far as the pitching will take us."--Nahigian.

* * *

Conversation in sunny Florida between sore-armed hurler Rob Alevizos and important major-league trainer:

TRAINER: In my experience, after it's hurt twice the arm comes back stronger than ever.

ALEVIZOS: Yeah?

* * *

"Freshman Hurlers Whitewash Columbia...Larson, Doyle Blank Lions By 11-0, 7-0" (March 31, 1980)

"Crimson Pounds Dartmouth, 8-4, 10-4" (April 14, 1980)

"Crimson Edges Tigers" (April 19, 1980)

"The only thing better than being 6-1 is being 7-0."--Chuck Marshall

* * *

A blend of youth and experience sparked the Crimson to a league-leading 7-1 record. Seniors Charlie Santos-Buch, Bobby Kelley, Mark Bingham, Rick Pearce and Ron Stewart were joined by sensational young shortstop Brad Bauer, remarkable hurlers Billy Doyle and Bill Larson and designated hitter Eddie Farrell (all freshmen) as Harvard sprinted out in front of the pack. Next: On the Road.

* * *

Course Description: Trip to Yale, Brown

Exam Scores: 0-9, 10-2, 2-3.

Final Grade: D

Comments: Lack of hitting, dangerously bad pitching, inexcusable fielding. Deserved to drop two of three.

* * *

THIS IS YOUR LIFE, ROB ALEVIZOS:

[Narrator]--"Did you hear that sound, Zos? That's a sound you haven't heard since early last year. Do you recognize the feeling? Yes! That's right! Rob Alevizos, I'd like to reintroduce you to your fastball!"

* * *

BLACK WEDNESDAY: Yeah, they won the GBL title, but the real season may have just ended for the Harvard baseball team. Captain Charlie Santos-Buch will be sidelined indefinitely with a broken wrist...

* * *

Roll Call. Unsung Heroes: Dan Skaff, Dan Bowels, Don Allard, Vinnie Martelli, Billy Blood, Paul Chicarello, Paul Scheper, Jim Curtin...

* * *

"You know it don't come easy."--Ringo Starr

The fans wondered:

How can you beat Craig Jones, the best pitcher in the East, and yet lose to some other guy nobody's ever heard of? Meanwhile, Cornell took two--like we knew they would--so that's a playoff. And what about Yale? If they win it's a three-way tie.

The fans turned deathly pale:

Harvard catcher Joe Wark will be out for the remainder of the season with a torn ligament...

* * *

FINAL EIBL STANDINGS:

Harvard 10-4

Cornell 10-4

Yale 10-4...

* * *

Heard in Language Lab:

"Senor, baseball is a sport, Spanish is a class."

"Crimson stars Dan Skaff, Brad Bauer and Bill Doyle will be forced to miss Saturday's three-way playoff due to a final exam which cannot be made up. In their place, Nahigian will start outfielder Paul Scheper and shortstop Paul Chicarello. Chicarello will be playing in his first varsity game." Seen in the box score:  AB  R  H   CHICARELLO, ss  3  1  3  1 (game 1) CHICARELLO, ss  3  2  2  1 (game 2)

THE GAME:

What millions of Harvard and Yale alumni will read this morning all over the world, from Cambridge to Katmandu: Harvard 6, Yale 2. Harvard wins EIBL title.

Doyle: 7 IP, 1 ER

Farrell: 1-2, 2 RBI

The kids are all right.